Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Wearing a Mask is "Tyranny"

John Paul Meenan
via Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College
John Paul Meenan writes: To Mask, or not to mask? That is the question:

Mr. Meenan is an assistant professor of theology at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College; 110 full time students in Barry's Bay, Ontario, Canada. The college offers a Bachelor of Catholic Studies. That college, by the way, has an aggressive response to the novel coronavirus. One that Mr. Meenan seemingly disagrees with.
'One of the primary tasks of a free citizenry is to resist encroaching tyranny – even of the ‘soft’ variety - for once we’ve given up our rights, ‘tis very difficult to get them back'
No you stupid schmuck. You wear a mask to prevent infecting others. That is a civic responsibility. With a reasonably functioning cerebral cortex, one would realize that masks prevent others from infecting you.
Today, Tuesday, July, the 14th, the memorial of Saint Camillus de Lellis, patron of the sick, it will be mandatory in the county where I live to wear a mask covering one’s nose and mouth in any indoor ‘public’ space – including churches and all places of worship. Such is already the law in Toronto, Ottawa, and across other large swathes of Canada and the United States. Some are going along compliantly with this, either in the name of charity, or self-protection, or both, while others are resisting, wondering whether we want a masked populace.
It has nothing to do with self-protection. It is about protecting others. It is mandated because we cannot depend upon people to act responsibly. People can “wonder” all they like. These are the self-absorbed imbeciles who think that they have a right to be a disease spreader. It makes no sense!
One idiotic argument after another:
Let us just prescind for a moment from the medical argument, and focus on what it means to wear a mask in general, and I will begin with aesthetics, which may seem odd, as the least of our concerns. To not wear a mask because it’s unattractive and off-putting?

Yet, in science, when an equation or solution is ugly, complex and cumbersome, it usually means it’s wrong, in accord with Ockham’s razor: That the truth tends to be simple and, we may add, beautiful.
Ockham's (or Occam's) razor doesn't mean that at all. It is the law of economy. When there are competing hypotheses to explain something, the simplest explanation tends to be the most likely to be correct. In this case, the simplest explanation is that wearing a mask prevents the transmission of a potentially lethal virus.
Well, for one thing, masks hide our identity as persons made in God’s image. …
If there is a god then S/he would not want people infecting other people. You know, … “Golden Rule.”
After all, masking is often done for nefarious purposes. Ponder your reaction – outside of the present context - if someone were to walk into your house wearing a mask. …
In this case, wearing a mask tells others that you give a rat's ass about the health and safety of other people.
The reason for this is that hiding the face ‘de-personalizes’ us, makes us anonymous, in some sense less ‘human’ …
Caring about the wellbeing of others makes us more “human.”
Besides this, masks engender, prolong, and exacerbate fear – even the protocols in the county where I live, admit that masks may not be effective – more on that in a moment - but they will at least remind us to ‘social distance’. Hmm.
So unreasonable paranoia is an excuse? Protocols neither admit nor deny anything. A protocol is a standard set of rules and no sane person suggests that people should wear masks to remind others about social distancing.
Perhaps, you might be saying, we could and should tolerate all this for the sake of the ‘common good’, for charity’s sake, to prevent the spread of infection. Even if you’re not sick, you don’t want to make others sick! How selfish of you not to wear a mask! Save a life!
“All this?” Yeah, it is just so hard to tolerate the partial anonymity. Oh the woe! The obvious problem is that many people do not know that they are sick and contagious.
Such principles have embedded themselves firmly in the minds and hearts of many, making this even more difficult to discuss rationally, as the flood of emotions muddies the waters. But beware of compassion unhinged from reason, and keep our wits about us.
This is not a matter of passion. Health experts say the evidence is clear that masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and that the more people wearing masks, the better.
One category of evidence comes from laboratory studies of respiratory droplets and the ability of various masks to block them.…

But the strongest evidence in favor of masks come from studies of real-world scenarios. … the epidemiological evidence has come from so-called “experiments of nature.”

A recent study published in Health Affairs, for example, compared the COVID-19 growth rate before and after mask mandates in 15 states and the District of Columbia. It found that mask mandates led to a slowdown in daily COVID-19 growth rate, which became more apparent over time. …
The bottom line is that there is not a single good reason not to wear a mask during a pandemic while the evidence indicates that, if everyone wore a mask, we would have fewer cases of COVID-19. It's not a difficult decision unless one is intent on making it seem difficult.
We could retread the tired arguments that this illness poses a minimal risk to almost the entire population, and almost all those who are at greatest risk are already in nursing homes and hospitals. Eliding this with the moral question, how far should we go to reduce risk to a zero level? Should we not then forbid the driving of cars – or, gasp, motorcycles – cycling, walking down the street …
The first sentence above is simply untrue. Most people at significant risk are not already in a healthcare facility. The comparison to other things is moronic whataboutism. Not allowing people to drive cars would have significant consequences. Mandating masks has no negative consequences. At least none that make any sense.
We should recall that these masking and distancing protocols are formulated by a small coterie of ‘medical personnel’ who advise the governmental apparatchiks, with both seeming to be almost entirely ignorant of the rights written into the very fabric and constitution of a free society. …
Attempting to discredit both the science and the people who formulate policy is imbecilic. We are not asking people to do things that are a real sacrifice. And give me a fucking break from “free society” nonsense. We have a crisis. We have things like speed limits for a reason. People aren't “free” to harm others.
Given the principle by which they are justifying these protocols – that we must minimize the potential of infection to asymptotic levels – why would they let up anytime soon? …
Oh that makes sense. Don't do the right thing because you might have to do the right thing for a long time.
At the same time, it’s hypocritically ironic that the most zealous enforcers of ‘safe’ distancing, lockdown and mask policies are also generally the most vehement supporters of the real plagues upon our society, abortion and euthanasia …
Advocates of health safety are responsible people who respect both the science and the safety of others. It has nothing to do with reproductive choice or end-of-life decision making. I have advance directives on file. That is my choice in — refresh my memory on the term — a free society.

Furthermore, I could do just the opposite: People who are zealots over controlling the reproductive choices of women seem to be the most likely to be inconsiderate of others in a health emergency. My version probably makes more sense.
…there is evidence that the donning of masks is statistically ineffective. Peruse the compilation of peer-reviewed studies by Briggs here. People touch their masks, contaminate them, have bushy beards, take them off to breathe. …
That is called selective observation. The guy who wrote that is a physicist (not a healthcare expert) and civil libertarian with a political agenda. Moreover, he is doing a literature review without publishing it to a respected, peer-reviewed academic journal.

It is true that some people wear a mask improperly but that is not a reason to not wear them. That's like saying that some people overdose on Vicodin. Therefore, it should not be prescribed. Tell me that the next time you are post-operative.
Having run out of idiotic excuses we go to the staggeringly stupid
Speaking of disposable, does anyone wonder where these masks end up? …
That has nothing to do with their efficacy in a pandemic.
And should we not take into consideration our own everyday health? Breathing in one’s own carbon dioxide all day long …
Except that we are not (breathing in our own carbon dioxide).
OK. So let’s presume we have to mask up in hospitals, grocery stores, government offices, and libraries. But what of Mass and other forms of worship? We should make clear from the get-go that the State has no direct authority over the Church, [Catholic theology] …
I do not know about Canada but in the United States courts have generally sided with mandates to wear masks and socially distance. People should be smart enough not to endanger other parishioners.
To be clear: I’m not saying never wear a mask. There are cases where they may well be called for – surgery, of course, visiting the truly vulnerable, certain hospital settings, nursing homes, situations where one’s prudence and good sense (remember those?) come into play. But for everyone to be forced to wear one, by the full power of the State, semper et ubique? …
Using the Latin for “always and everywhere” does not make this guy look any smarter. Not after writing all of this gibberish. It is a shame that we have to force people to be responsible. But we must and John Paul Meenan has provided the necessary evidence.

Meenan has peddled a number of excuses. If one is a skeptic then they might say that wearing a mask might protect others. However, even in that case the might is sufficient because there is no sacrifice involved.

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